The Aaron Judge sweepstakes appears to be a two-horse race between the New York Yankees and San Francisco Giants.
Per MLB Network's Jon Morosi, the Giants are a "very realistic possibility" for Judge, and the odds for both teams are "very close to 50-50" (starts at 4:55 mark):
Jon Morosi @jonmorosi
Update: Aaron Judge’s free agent decision could come within the week. We discussed the latest today on <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MLBNHotStove?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#MLBNHotStove</a>. <a href="https://twitter.com/MLB?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@MLB</a> <a href="https://t.co/YZXzeloO5E">pic.twitter.com/YZXzeloO5E</a>
ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Wednesday that the Yankees have offered around eight years and $300 million for the 2022 American League MVP, but they could increase it.
The Giants' offer to Judge isn't known, though Morosi noted if they make an offer in the range of $40 million per season, they have a "legitimate chance" to sign him.
Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout is the highest-paid player in MLB based on the total value of his contract ($426.5 million) and the highest-paid position player by average annual salary ($35.5 million).
While it doesn't sound like Judge will approach the total value of Trout's deal, he could pass his average annual salary. An eight-year, $300 million contract would pay $37.5 million per season.
Pitchers Max Scherzer ($43.3 million) and Gerrit Cole ($36.0 million) are the two highest-paid players in MLB by AAV.
The Giants have long been seen as the biggest threat to sign Judge away from the Yankees. One person who met with members of the team's ownership group told Randy Miller of NJ.com in October they "won't be underbid" for the four-time All-Star.
Judge met with Giants officials for two days in San Francisco last week. Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reported the Giants connected Judge with representatives for Stephen Curry, hoping the Golden State Warriors superstar could help their free-agent pursuit.
The Yankees have remained confident since free agency began that they will re-sign their superstar slugger. It seems unlikely they will make any other significant moves before he makes a decision.
According to Passan, Judge could make his pick during the winter meetings that begin Sunday in San Diego.
Judge hit the market at the right time after a historic 2022 season. He set an AL record with 62 homers and led MLB in on-base percentage (.425), slugging percentage (.686) and total bases (391).